We Americans severed our connection with the home country early by dumping our tea in Boston Harbor, so we don't celebrate Boxing Day - the day where the rich used to box up their unwanted shit to give to the poor and companies would give their employees gifts. These days, it's a day everyone gets off work and stores hold big sales. We celebrated our first Boxing Day by taking a walk across London - literally, across most of the City. We started at Green Park on the north end of St. James', stopped by Buckingham Palace to see if Lizzie was around (she was but she wasn't receiving Americans), then walked along the Thames until we ended up between St. Paul's and the Tower. If we would have kept going we could have seen the Tower and pretty much covered most of what there is to see in the inner city in one afternoon - without going in anything of course - but we ended up having to catch a bus back so we stopped a little shy.
It was a great day to see London. A great day. Most people were still inside or with family, and the only place that was really crowded was around Westminster and Parliament. Otherwise there were only a handful of people on the street at any time - quite an achievement as anyone who has walked in London can attest - and it made for a good, leisurely stroll through the city. The wind wasn't bad and we found a couple of open pubs for pints and bathrooms making it all around a great day.
I realize I haven't really talked much about my experiences here yet, which is mostly because I'm still settling in (we just got Internet today.) Once things start to sink in a little more, I'll be able to do more synthesis. Right now I just feel like I'm collecting data and haven't really had time to analyze it yet.
Liz has to be online tomorrow but we may go somewhere this weekend - I'd like to see Nottingham but we'll see what shakes out.